Simba Smoby steps up autumn marketing drive as sales surge across all categories

Simba Smoby has outlined its intention to increase its marketing drive into the autumn season, with more TV advertising and further boost to its growing social media presence, as the toy brand continues to enjoy its lift in product sales and brand engagement.

Last year, Smoby saw sales across its portfolio hit close to £7 million for the full year, surpassing its targets by some 38 per cent. This year has seen a continuation of the steady sales increase as Smoby reports a substantial 81 per cent growth in the playhouse sub category.

The uplift in the sector has been driven by Smoby’s Nature Playhouse with Kitchen, its Chef House, and the popular Garden House, as well as through increased sales of slides.

Now, with the Smoby brand up 39 per cent year to date across all categories, the toy firm is tipped to see the momentum continue into the second half, with its role-play offering ramping up from September onwards.

Outside of the latest NPD figures for the brand, further retailers have come on board to support Smoby which has also seen many independent retailers join the company’s drop ship programme. This has further contributed to the brand’s growth this year.

Now, to support the increases across the board, the firm has in place a raft of activity, including TV, celebrity endorsement and more. Central to the strategy has been TV. This kicked off in late spring with an Outdoor TV campaign featuring playhouses, helping to generate what it has billed as a major sales uplift across playhouses and slides.

This will be echoed though autumn with a new TV drive on the role play ranges, which features kitchens, workbenches and supermarkets.

“Smoby’s TV presence has really grown in recent seasons, and we’ve seen the results across the board with sales,” said marketing manager Mayur Patni. “Now, with autumn being the time when our key role play items come to the fore, turning on the TV will be essential to keeping the Smoby brand top of mind with parents.”

Adding to the brand’s success are the regular partnerships with celebrities and high-profile social mums and their children. Such endorsement is proving highly effective both in terms of sales and engagement.

Highlights in this department include Greg Shepherd posting a series of content for the Smoby Teepee. In an Instagram post, he told his followers: “So glad we got the kids this new Teepee from @SmobyUK in time for the Easter holidays and the nice weather… They’ve loved playing in this the last few days and making it into their own little house, especially Arthur, he even wanted to sleep in there overnight!”

The post was liked by more than 11k people, including his wife Billie Faiers.

Smoby has also established a number of other partnerships this summer with high-profile parents, including Gemma Atkinson, Rebekah Vardy, Stephanie Davis, and Mario Falcone.

“The celebrity and influencer endorsement remains a key part of strategy,” continued Patni. “Our Q2 celebrity push had a combined following of over 5 million with 11 top names being involved. This is enhanced with our mums’ reviews across blog and Instagram platforms.

“The Smoby products are highly sought after in the social mums’ circle and we are able to mix-up the coverage ensuring a wider reach with the correct mum for each individual product. At just half way through the year, we are looking forward to this activity continuing as the holiday season approaches and the focus switched from outdoor to indoor.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of ToyNews and its sister title, Licensing.biz. He has worked his way from Staff Writer to Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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